Productivity is the end result of almost any positive business exchange. Employees are happier – productivity goes up. Reduce the cost of your supplies – productivity goes up. Find new efficiencies by revamping old processes – productivity goes up.
You get the idea.
Facility management falls into the third school of those listed above – by making processes, specifically facility management-related processes more efficient, you’ll increase your productivity. To understand why and how, it’s important to know what exactly facility management and facility management software are.
What is Facility Management?
Facility management is an incredibly broad discipline that deals with any facility, which means anything that’s built, installed, or established to serve a purpose. In other words, a facility could be almost any tangible asset imaginable.
All of the property that your company owns, rents, or otherwise operates might fall under the responsibility of a facility manager.
You can probably already tell that the scope of facility management is almost unfathomable. Things get even more complicated, however, when you consider how all of these facilities interact. Take your average office building. You have the value of the land and any structures on the land.
Then you have all of the furniture, equipment, HVAC, and lighting on the property. You also have to consider repairs and maintenance for all of these assets, as well as taking their life cycles into account. Then you have transportation from the facility to other facilities, be they operated by you or a third party.
Facility management is the practice of seeing how all of these things interact, and finding efficiencies and value in every nook and cranny.
What is Facility Management Software?
Facility management software encompasses a wide array of different softwares (often in the form of SaaS) that assist in facility management.
The functions of these softwares range from sending work orders for maintenance, tracking the estimated life cycles of equipment, tracking fluctuating real estate prices, estimating the value of preventive maintenance, logging documents needed for compliance, and more. Facility management softwares include.
- Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS). MaxPanda CMMS Software explains the role of CMMS in business very well: “Inventory management is made easier with a CMMS because a good CMMS allows the maintenance team to see exactly how many items are in storage, how many are in need of repair, how many parts have been used, and when new ones are required for order”. In other words, CMMS helps you track what needs to be repaired and what supplies you have in order to conduct repairs. It also allows you to send out work orders and look at the maintenance and repair history of your assets.
- Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM): This type of software focuses more on the physical infrastructure of your buildings. The goal of these programs is to use space as efficiently as possible, from creating floor plans to monitoring the energy consumption of the building. It may even incorporate analytical elements that advise you to create space you can rent to other tenants when it can generate value.
- Enterprise Asset Management (EAM): This software can be thought of as a more comprehensive version of a CMMS. It’s usually used by larger companies, and offers the functionality of a CMMS along with things like energy monitoring, floor maps, and fleet management.
- Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS): This type of software is the full package. Many IWMS have all the features of the softwares laid out above, as well as analytics providing reports on things like sustainability and waste production.
How Do These Softwares Make My Business More Productive?
Every one of these softwares is dedicated to finding efficiencies. They help you track inventory so you don’t need to mark everything manually. They help you use space more efficiently. And They automate the process of sending, confirming, and completing work orders.
They store documents for easy access. They’re accessible from anywhere, so you’re never caught waiting for someone to send you the information you need. That leaves everyone with more time, which, of course, means they can work on more meaningful projects. More time = more productivity.
What’s even more is that they give you high-level analyses you might not otherwise get. You might, for example, find that you have a bunch of depreciating assets in your IT department, and that you’re losing a lot of money in that sector.
You might then decide that if you outsource IT needs to another company, you’ll end up saving money. Money saved is money you can put into improving facilities and production which, you guessed it, increases productivity.
As you can see, facility management software is dedicated to improving business productivity. Of course, it comes at a cost – you have to pay for these services.
As such, they’re only worth your while if your business has reached the scale that facility management can’t be wrapped up into the job description of, say, the general manager. When you have a lot of facilities, however, facility management software is a great way to automate laborious, error-prone processes and boost productivity.